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The Roar

Gibbo

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Joined April 2021

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Townsend was a good halfback when Cronulla won the Premiership. Is he still a good halfback now? Those who know him (like Gal) say he’s still positive and hasn’t changed, but he is 34 years old (old in footy terms; I’m almost 34 😱 ) doesn’t kick the ball very far and seems to barely engage the line at times because he looks afraid of getting pumped.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

A lot. Complacency, new defensive structures, and an unwillingness to put in the hard yakka required to do the 1%ers right all the time. It creeps into team after team over the years and save for very few sides (Steve Waugh’s Aussies, QLD’s legendary 8 in a row side, Bill Belichick’s Patriots dynasty at its height for example), complacency is usually always present after a few years of the same people.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

Well, so long as skills don’t include catching high balls and defending, then sure. I think he’s generally got a good message, but I wonder if it gets old too quickly and the team has just tired of hearing it all the time and has become complacent.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

Ok, see your reasoning and agree with it. Definitely needs some Q Cup time if he can’t turn it around!

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

😂

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

My only problem with Clifford, and this may be due to lack of first grade game time more than anything else, was that there seemed to be a lack of direction in attack. Granted, Tom Dearden needed to and should have stepped up and taken over leading the attack, but even still, the lack of direction was frustrating with Clifford at 7.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

I agree with the team lacking direction, and that JT is playing well (150 run meters in 46 mins last week is exceptional), but completely disagree about Townsend playing well. He’s been average at best, if average is the best option for a halfback. He kicks the same end-over-end kick to the opposition fullback all the time and hardly ever puts them under pressure. He does straighten up their attack, something sorely missing against the Dolphins, but beyond that, he’s done little to inspire or provide a heap of leadership. I think Dearden and Cotter were chosen as leaders mostly because of their work ethic. I agree, though, that it definitely seems like they’re not holding their teammates to account. As for defence, I think Griffin Neame holds a lot of promise and Luki seems to be a good defender. JT has work to do (still!) on his defence. McLean isn’t bad, but at least the Hess turnstile is out this year.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

100% correct in everything you say, Gordo. Payten himself called it out when he said that the Cows weren’t willing to do the hard work but prefer the flashy stuff. Defensive patterns are hard work, but surely player ownership has to be the way to go now. Their defensive coach is also a newbie, so maybe some scrutiny on him and how he’s executing it might be warranted as well. Drinky, though, he couldn’t tackle a wet dishrag if it ran at him, so not sure that he’s the best on defence.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

Has he ever done any rugged defending?

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

Our D is atrocious! Second worst in the comp behind only Souths. Selections are a head scratcher. Clifford had a great game against the Dolphins and caused young Trai Fuller, highly rated by most, an awful time at fullback. Chad would’ve just kicked end over end over end to him all night and not given him any worries at all. What makes halves like JT, Sam Walker, Adam Reynolds, etc. great is their ability, even as they age (not applicable to Walker obviously) to still be a threat at the line but also pass the ball. All Chad does is pass. He barely engages the line all game. I’d love to see Tommy Dearden kick a lot more. He’s got a decent kicking game. Agree about the constant NSW selection, though the pickup of Karl Lawton for next year is a good one (and a QLDer to boot). I’d have preferred Hammer over Drinky (and could’ve told you that when he went to the Dolphins), but I was happy to be proven wrong. Let’s hope that Todd/Cowboys brass see that guys like Tom Chester and Zac Laybutt are the way forward for us, not guys like Valemei.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

Even under Dean Young in 2023, the defensive structure wasn’t great. He was the defence coach, and we did not have any. I’m not sold on the argument that it’s Justin Morgan (though it well could be) as much as it’s the players just not giving a crap about defence. Todd said it best himself when he called out that the Cows are happy to do all the flashy plays, but then won’t work hard in defence. I think it has more to do with the attitude (or lack thereof) of how they play their footy. Guys like Val, who used to seem to care, have seemed to lose their care factor this year. Drinky only shows up when he chooses. In fact, week in and week out, I’d say that Tom Dearden and Reuben Cotter, the two captains, are the only two blokes who show up consistently.

A Letter to Todd Payten: If you want to avoid the fans' call for you to get sacked, please do these simple things

What about England ’05? Ooh Aah missing then as well which we all know impacted that series.

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Lillee caught Willey bowled Dilley…

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

I actually forgot Panesar! I was thinking Noble (thanks SCG).

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Fair call.

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

How could I overlook Steve Tikolo?!

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Often the best players make the worst commentators.

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Nii, I agree that not everyone would agree that Smith is the greatest modern batsman (hence my use of the word “arguably” before it). I reckon Williamson has been more consistent than Smith, and that Smith may ruin some of his legacy with a failed opening bid.

Re: the Matt XI. Hayden was a great? Matt Nicholson would be in a similar league as Hoggard, surely?

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Oh totally agree! Very long tail. I was going to do a Monty XI, but there’s only 1 to have played…

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

Fair. He was the best of the bunch in the Matt XI. A lot is resting on his very broad shoulders in that XI.

What’s in a name? The all-time great Steve XI

As in the Broncos coach?

Matt, Mat or Matthew... The Best XI that shares the popular great name to play top-level cricket

Ooh a Mitchell (Michelle?) XI would be good!
Marsh
Johnson
Starc
Swepson
Santner
?

Matt, Mat or Matthew... The Best XI that shares the popular great name to play top-level cricket

I’d take the Khan XI too! 😂

Matt, Mat or Matthew... The Best XI that shares the popular great name to play top-level cricket

That Mike XI is seriously good! And Mike Hussey could keep at a pinch.

Matt, Mat or Matthew... The Best XI that shares the popular great name to play top-level cricket

All 3 of these would’ve been great additions to the above squad.

Matt, Mat or Matthew... The Best XI that shares the popular great name to play top-level cricket

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